Coronavirus: 2 test positive in preliminary test for coronavirus in Punjab’s Amritsar
Two men from Punjab, who returned from coronavirus-hit Italy on Wednesday, have tested positive for the disease in the preliminary test, doctors at Amritsar’s Guru Nanak Dev Hospital (GNDH) said on Saturday.
The two were admitted to the isolation ward of the hospital after they showed symptoms of the disease on their arrival at Sri Guru Ram Das Jee International Airport in Amritsar, through Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi, from the European country, the city’s civil surgeon Dr Prabhdeep Kaur Johal said while speaking to HT.
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“Their samples have already been sent for the second confirmation examination, the results of which will be out by Saturday evening or Sunday morning. This is done to cross-check the preliminary findings,” Dr Kaur said.
The number of reported cases of coronavirus in India is 31 so far even as the disease continued to spread in new regions of the world and crossing the 100,000 global infections mark in less than three months since it began spreading from central China late in December.
The death toll from the outbreak of coronavirus in Italy rose by 49 to 197, authorities in the country had said on Friday.
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It was the largest daily increase in fatalities since the contagion was uncovered two weeks ago in Italy.
The country is currently reporting more deaths every day from the virus than any other country in the world and the government this week ordered the closure of schools, universities, cinemas and theatres around the country to try to stem the infections.
Both the patients are related and are residents of Hoshiarpur in Punjab.
The two, along with another relative, had returned from Italy on Wednesday. They did not show any symptom of the disease when they reached the Delhi airport but one of them was diagnosed with a fever after reaching the Amritsar airport, said local medical officers.
“After finding symptoms of novel coronavirus during the screening at the airport, the state health department team took the trio to the isolation ward at Guru Nanak Dev Hospital (GNDH),” Dr Raman Sharma, medical superintendent (MS) of the hospital, said.
Their samples, Dr Sharma said, were sent to the National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune and the Viral Research & Diagnostic Laboratory (VRDL) in Delhi for testing.
“Among the three returned from Italy, a man (40) and youth (25) have been tested positive for coronavirus in their preliminary report, which came from the Delhi lab. Their confirmation reports from NIV are yet to come,” Dr Sharma said.
He added that their relative, a 40-year-old woman, has tested negative in the preliminary report.
“The positive patients have been admitted in the isolation ward of GNDH and treatment is being given to them by the doctors. They have been kept under close watch and health department have been informed about the preliminary report.”
He added there was an improvement in the patients’ condition and there was no need to worry as the isolation ward is fully equipped to deal with the cases.
Precautionary measures in Amritsar
In an effort to spread awareness about the coronavirus among local residents and tourists visiting the holy city, the health department on Thursday had set up three ‘Flu Corners’ in Amritsar, urging people to get themselves tested voluntarily.
The self-declaration flu corners have been set up at the Golden Temple, Durgiana Temple and Bhagwaan Valmiki Tirath Sthal, where lakhs of devotees from various countries of the world pay obeisance.
Doctors are also present around the clock at the flu corners to spread awareness and screen the people.
The health department is also screening flyers at the airport in the city and at the Attari-Wagah border.
They have put up banners at the airport with details of the virus, including symptoms, cause, available treatment and contact numbers of the health department to create awareness among those travelling to India from other countries.
The Border Security Force (BSF) has also announced it will hold the daily retreat ceremony at the Attari-Wagah border on the Indian side without the presence of visitors with the government issuing guidelines restricting public gatherings in the wake of coronavirus scare, from Saturday.